With total outlay of ₹3,917 crore, zones to focus on new line construction and line doubling
The net plan outlay for South Western Railway (SWR) for 2021-22 was pegged at ₹2,096.63 crore in the Pink Book released by the Indian Railways after Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman allocating ₹1.07 lakh crore for Railways in the Union Budget.
The State government was expected to contribute ₹797 crore towards new lines (₹737 crore) and doubling (₹60 crore) under deposit schemes. Railways would raise another ₹1,024 crore through extra budgetary resources for line doubling and utilise ₹50 crore from safety funds for new lines. The total outlay for SWR thus would be about ₹3,917 crore for 2021-22.
Among new lines, highest allocation was made to Tumakuru-Rayadurga (₹250 crore) followed by Tumakuru-Chitradurga-Davanagere (₹100 crore), Gadag-Wadi (₹100 crore), Shivamogga-Shikaripur (₹100 crore), and Belagavi-Dharwad via Kittur (₹50 crore).
Rail enthusiast K.N. Krishna Prasad said last year too ₹120 crore was allocated to the Tumakuru-Davaagere new line that was not utilised as the land acquisition was not complete. The situation was no different this year too, he regretted. These allocations include the State government contribution (₹737 crore) and safety fund (₹50 crore).
The outlay has focussed on Bengaluru-Hubballi line doubling by allocating ₹336 crore for Chikkajajur and Hubballi doubling followed by ₹274 crore for Hosapete-Hubballi-Londa-Tinaighat-Vasco da Gama line doubling, Hotgi-Kudgi-Gadag (₹165 crore) and Yelahanka-Penukonda (₹160 crore).
Doubling of lines that could help Bengaluru suburban rail system—Byappanahalli-Hosur (₹77 crore) and Yeshwantpur-Channasandra (₹70 crore) were also given allocations. The allocations include the State government contribution (₹60 crore), extra budgetary resources—institutional financing (₹881 crore) and extra budgetary resources—Indian Railway Finance Corporation Bonds (₹137 crore).
Push for electrification
Besides these plan outlays, SWR also got ₹193 crore for line electrification between Chikkabanawara and Hubballi, Gadag-Hotgi, ₹121 crore, Mysuru-Hassan-Mangaluru including Arsikere-Hassan, ₹112 crore, Chikkabanavara-Hassan, ₹50 crore, Birur-Talaguppa, ₹43 crore and Bangarpet-Yelahanka, ₹32 crore, among others, Mr. Prasad said.Among traffic facilities, the third coaching terminal for Bengaluru at Byappanahalli was given ₹31 crore and the satellite terminal for Mysuru at Naganahalli got ₹20 crore.
Rohith Jain from SWR Passengers Committee, Davanagere, said overall the allocations were good and would strengthen the Rail infrastructure in the State besides enhancing rail electrification.
T.P. Lokesh, another rail enthusiast regretted that this year too, the Railway Ministry did not push forward formation of the new Kalaburagi Division that was sanctioned in 2014.
Under South Central Railway, ₹79 crore was allocated for Munirabad-Mehabubnagar new line, ₹100 crore for Daund-Kalaburagi-Guntakal doubling and electrification and ₹225 crore for Gooty-Dharmavaram line doubling.